Towns of Walla Walla County, Washington

          Submitted by Rella Gleaton


Origins, establishments, platting and naming.

ATTALIA, located southwest in Walla Walla county is southeast of Pasco and adjacent to Lake Wallula. It was platted in 1906 by V. K. Loose of Seattle.  Mrs. Loose ,just returned from a trip to Italy, suggested the name, for a small village in Italy.  With several sidings for  the Union Pacific Railroad , Atallia is the site of a large and modern corrugated paper (cardboard boxes) manufacturing plant, employing many from the Tri-Cities.

AYER , is a stop on the Union Pacific Railroad located in the northern portion of the county, approximately 47 miles north of Walla Walla along the Snake River.  It was a main half way stop for the railroad between Hermiston, Oregon and Spokane, Washington. A hotel was built specifically for the train crews.  It was also used as by the Camas Prairie Railroad, from Lewiston, Idaho, and the Pomeroy Branch would use as a switching point for freight moving to the north or south.  The small town grew up around the hotel and rail yard, but the original Ayer was relocated when Lower Monumental Dam was constructed by the U. S. Army Corps of engineers, and  the original area was flooded.

BUNDY HOLLOW is located  nine miles southeast of Waitsburg on Bundy Hollow Road.  A large number of  headstones in the Bundy Hollow Cemetery tells us the area was once a thriving community. Close to Dayton, mail is delivered with rural route Dayton addresses. A church of 22 members was started there in 1877. 

BURBANK, located southeast of Pasco near the mouth of the Snake River pours into the Columbia River.  Named in 1907 by the Northern Pacific Railway for the Burbank Power & Water Company substation located there,  which was originally named for the famous horticulturist Luther Burbank by Will H. Parry of Seattle.

CLYDE, located  27 miles north of Walla Walla in the northwestern part of the county, is in a wheat farming area.  A post office was established in 1891 and was used until 1934.  A small cemetery was established.

COLLEGE PLACE, located in south central Walla Walla county is just west of and almost a suburb of Walla Walla.  In 1892 Walla Walla College,  established by the Seventh Day Adventists Church,  became a place of higher education of their children and it flourishes today.  January 19, 1946 was the date of incorporation.

COPPEI began in 1861 when Anderson Cox made a homestead claim located south of Waitsburg on Coppei Creek in southeast Walla Walla County.   Coppei Creek originates in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in southeast Walla Walla County and runs northwest into the Touchet River at Waitsburg. Called Gamblers Creek by Lewis and Clark in 1806,  the Indian name, Kap-Y-O, was later used.  Coppei grew and a post office was established in January 1863. In 1865, many of the settlers moved to Waitsburg and the town became another ghost town.

DIXIE, a very small town, is located  10 miles northeast of Walla Walla on Dry Creek.  Herman C. Actor, the first settler, who made a land claim in 1859,  came to the Washington territory in 1855 with governor Stevens.   The town was named for the song by the Kershaw brothers, a pioneer family from the south.   Townspeople today shop at nearby Walla Walla, but they have their own church started in 1856, an elementary school , a post office and cemetery.

EUREKA, named for the Eureka Flats on which it is located, is northwest of Walla Walla. Mrs. A. B. Blanchard platted the town on Jun 06, 1904. A post office was established earlier in 1889 and was used until 1964.

FRENCHTOWN, located west of Walla Walla on the Walla Walla River, was established in the 1840s by French Canadians who had completed their terms of service with the Hudson's Bay Company and had begun farming and ranching.  Not too far from here was the Whitman Mission began by Marcus Whitman to minister to the local Indians. Many of the French Canadian trappers had Indian wives. The Frenchtown cemetery containing over 200 of the trappers and their wives has been farmed over with no headstones left.

GILLIAM was a railroad station northeast of Walla Walla in the southeast part of the county. The Northern Pacific Railway named the station for W. S. Gilliam, from whom they purchased a right-of-way.

KIBLER, a railroad station which was established in 1907, was named for Jacob Kibler who once owned the right of way.  The Kibler family arrived in Walla Walla County in 1858. Mr. Kibler worked in the freighting business and developed a farm of fifteen hundred acres.

LAMAR, located on the Touchet River northwest of Walla Walla in the central part of the county, was originally named Riverside, but was changed by the Northern Pacific Railway in 1902, after acquiring the right-of-way from Joseph Lamar.

LEE, a railroad station northwest of Walla Walla , was named for Henry Lee, from whom the right-of-way was acquired.  When the Northern Pacific Railway built the Pleasant View branch into this part of the county in 1888, the station was named for this  rancher..

LOWDEN, on Highway 12 in southwestern Walla Walla county, is located between the towns of Walla Walla and Wallula.  Lowden was named for the pioneer Francis M. Lowden who settled here in 1878 and  raised cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs on a 5,000 acre farm.  He and his sons Francis Jr., and Marshall formed the Lowden Co. This area is now part of the famous "wine country" of the county and houses a wine company in the old elementary school house. A post office was established in 1906 and was used until 1984.

PEDIGO, located  northwest of Walla Walla in the south central part of the county, was named for John H. Pedigo. Named thus by Northern Pacific Railway officials because he owned  a large acreage by the station. First called Collins from 1888 until 1892, it became  known as Waterloo from 1892 to 1912, when it became Pedigo. 

PRESCOTT is  located eight miles west of Waitsburg on the Touchet River and northeast of the city of Walla Walla in the east central area of the county. The area was established by Rev. Henry H. Spalding, an early Protestant missionary, in 1859. The Oregon Improvement Company platted the town site on May 12, 1882. The Oregon Railway & Navigation Company named it for C. H. Prescott, its general superintendent. It was incorporated March 13, 1903.  

SLATER, located  east of Pasco in the southwest part of the county, was named for a local landowner, C. C. Slater, by the Northern Pacific Railway. The station at Slater was established after 1893 as Johnson then changed to Godfrey on October 1, 1906 and named  Slater on June 13, 1908. A post office was established in 1906 and was used until 1919.

SPRING VALLEY,on the Middle Waitsburg Road between Waitsburg and Walla Walla, was noted for its wheat.  Four miles west of Waitsburg, it was known to have a church meeting in its school house around 1870 with 22 members. This area is now part of the Walla Walla Wine Country.

TOUCHET is a community at the confluence of Touchet and Walla Walla rivers west of Walla Walla in southwest Walla Walla County was settled by French Canadians who came to the area with the fur trading companies. One name origin is believed to have been from the French word toucheur or cattle drover.  Cattle and horse raising were once important activities along the 

The TOUCHET RIVER begins in the south central area of Columbia County and flows north to join the South Fork, near Dayton, then flows west through Waitsburg and turns south to the Walla Walla River near Touchet. Lewis & Clark named it White Stallion River  for a horse given to them by the Indians in  May of 1805.

TWO RIVERS, southeast of Pasco in southeast Walla Walla County, is a railroad stop that  prospered in the 1920s. In 1905 the name was given by the railway official because of its location between the Walla Walla and the Snake River.   A post office was established then and used until 1933.  With water pumped from the Snake River an irrigation company was formed in the area, but later went bankrupt when farmers were unable to pay for the water. 

VALLEY GROVE, located on Dry Creek about six miles north of Walla Walla in the south central area of the county, was established in 1879 by one of he leading farmers of Dry Creek, Mr. and Mrs. Charles McInroe who chose the name when a railroad station was built in 1881. A post office was used for 10 years from 1890 to 1900.

VALLEY CHAPEL, located south and west of Walla Walla near the Walla Walla River, was established in farm country.  The land was owned by the Harer family who established the first cemetery.  Mary Ellen Reser selected the site, which was first called Harer Cemetery, in 1873.  She was the first person buried there.  The name was eventually changed to Valley Chapel.  The school lies at the junction of Valley Chapel and Frog Hollow roads.

WAITSBURG is at the confluence of the Touchet River and Coppei Creek, northeast of Walla Walla in east central Walla Walla County. It is 19 miles northeast of Walla Walla  on Highway 12.  In 1859, Robert Kennedy was the first settler. The town was platted in 1869 and  incorporated November 25, 1881. It was named for Sylvester M. Wait, who built the first flour mill in 1865. The place had also been called Delta, Horsehead City  or Wait's Mill or Wait's Crossing. G. W. Richardson organized the Waitsburg Church on the fifth Sunday in September in 1877. He had been at Bethel in Polk County, Oregon before moving to Washington Territory.

WALKER is a railway station on the east bank of the Snake River at the mouth of Walker Canyon northeast of Pasco in northwestern Walla Walla County. When the Northern Pacific Railway Company built a railroad station in 1908, they named it for William H. Walker, from whom they purchased a right-of-way.

WALLA WALLA, the largest town and county seat, is located  in the center of the Walla Walla Valley on Mill Creek in southeast Walla Walla County. In 1856 a fort was built against Indian attacks . The fort was one of several in the region named Fort Walla Walla. A town grew up around the fort and on January 11, 1859, a Territorial Legislature act approved the name Walla Walla City. It boomed in the 1860s during the gold rush in nearby Idaho.  It was incorporated on January 11, 1862 and platted from land in A. J. Cain's claim.  Previous names were Steptoeville and Steptoe City named after  Lieut. Col. Edward J. Steptoe, who fought in the 1850s Indian wars. The local Indians name means"place of many waters" because of Mill Creek, the Walla Walla River and the many tributaries and streams in the area. Only thirty miles long, the river is important in the area. Agriculture abounds in the fertile valley and the area is known for it's wheat, peas, and more recently, wine production.

WALLULA,  was a small  pioneer town located north of the junction of the Walla Walla and Columbia rivers in Walla Walla County. The original town established in 1859 was called Wallula Landing and in March 1862, the town of Wallula was named and plated by J. M. Vansycle and S. W. Tatem. This town location was flooded by Lake Wallula when McNary Dam was completed in 1954. The town and the cemetery were relocated to higher ground to the east of the original site.  From 1818 until 1857, on the original site was the  North West Company and later the Hudson's Bay Company which were called Fort Walla Walla. It had also briefly been called Fort Nez Perce. These were fur trading posts. 

WALLULA JUNCTION was built one mile to the east of the railroad lines laid by the  Northern Pacific Railroad lines in 1882,. This Walla Walla Indian word has the same meaning as Walla Walla in Nez Perce language " place of many waters."


 Towns of Walla Walla county, Washington submitted by 

Rella Gleaton, to the WAGenWeb July 09, 2009.

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